PORTLAND, Maine – EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., Professional Bowlers Association Rookies of the Year for 2013 and 2014, respectively, were “relaxed and having fun” Tuesday as they ransacked the field in the MaineQuarterly.com Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship at Bayside Bowl.
The doubles partners, who characterized themselves as “polar opposites” as far as bowling styles are concerned, averaged a combined 232 for 12 doubles (24 individual) games to lead the field of eight teams that advanced to Wednesday’s final qualifying rounds. Their 5,586 pinfall total gave them a 32-pin lead over a pair of two-handed players, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C. First-round leaders Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Jason Belmonte of Australia were in third place and defending champions Connor Pickford of Plano, Texas, and Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas, advanced in fifth place.
Tackett, PBA’s 2016 Player of the Year, and Kent reunited after bowling together on the ‘Merica Rooster Illusion team that won the PBA Team Challenge in Las Vegas last fall, where they found the magical blend they both were looking for.
“I was looking for a personality I could match up with,” said Kent, who led the duo by 120 pins with his six-game, 2,863 pinfall total that included a 300 game. “It’s easy to find good players to bowl with, but I wanted to bowl with someone I could relax with…” and “…we absolutely do that,” said Tackett, finishing Kent’s thought.
“Marshall’s ball roll is a lot different than mine. He sees the lane a lot differently than I do,” Tackett added. “He’s hooking the ball; I was throwing a urethane ball and trying to play straighter. The way we bowl, we’re polar opposites.
“The team we won with last fall was strategically put together with guys who all have fun,” Tackett continued. Other members of their team were Ronnie Russell, Rhino Page and Chris Loschetter. “It’s so important in this kind of environment.
“We were ragging on each other all day,” Kent chimed in. “There was a lot of banter.”
“A lot,” Tackett laughed.
“That’s why we could save ourselves from bad games,” Kent said. “We didn’t let anything get us down. We always pulled it back together the next game.”
Wednesday’s competition will include two eight-game rounds of Baker format (alternate frame) match play at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Based on combined standard and Baker pinfall totals, the top five teams will advance to the live ESPN stepladder finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The finals also will be simultaneously streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.
Both of Wednesday’s match play rounds will be covered live on PBA’s Xtra Frame live streaming service. For subscription information, visit xtraframe.tv.
Following Wednesday’s final rounds of doubles qualifying, the PBA will present a special pay-per-view King of Bowling match involving Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas; Tackett and Jason Belmonte of Australia in a winner-take-all three-game total pinfall match. Fans can purchase the special match for $2.99 by visiting http://www.xtraframe.tv/#!liveevent?EV_pid=3574. The special webcast begins at 6:30 p.m. ET.
MAINEQUARTERLY.COM MARK ROTH/MARSHALL HOLMAN PBA DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine, April 11
Second Round Standings (after 12 doubles/24 individual games):
1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash./EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 5,586.
2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden/Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 5,552.
3, Jason Belmonte, Australia/3, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 5,533.
4, Dick Allen, Columbia, S.C./Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 5,519.
5, Connor Pickford, Plano, Texas/Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas, 5,442.
6, Greg Ostrander, Freehold, N.J./AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 5,441.
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia/Josh Blanchard, Mesa, Ariz., 5,420.
8, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, 5,409.
Failed to advance:
9, Tom Daugherty, Riverview, Fla., 2,709/Craig Nidiffer, Trenton, Mich., 5,404
10, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Oxford, Fla./Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich., 5,387.
11, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y./Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5,385.
12, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas/Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., 5,376
13, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, Pasadena, Texas/Sam Cooley, Australia, 5,371.
14, Joe Paluszek, Bensalem, Pa./John Furey, Freehold, N.J., 5,361.
15, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C./Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas, 5,354.
16, Jeff Evans, Supply, N.C./Dwight Adams, Greensboro, N.C., 5,348.
17, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz./Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 5,332.
18, Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis/Jon Van Hees, Charlestown, R.I., 5,325.
19, Dave Wodka, Beavercreek, Ohio/Jason Couch, Clermont, Fla., 5,322.
20, Tim Mack, Indianapolis/Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 5,296.
21, BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa./Matthew O'Grady, Rahway, N.J., 5,270.
22, Graham Fach, Canada/Brett Spangler, Niles, Ohio, 5,236.
23, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore./Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla., 5,214.
24, Martin Larsen, Sweden/Stuart Williams, England, 5,212.
25, John Szczerbinski, N. Tonawanda, N.Y./Francois Lavoie, Canada, 5,085.
26, Jason Sterner, Rockledge, Fla./Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 5,063.
27, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland, 5,039.
28, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind./Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, 5,030.
29, w-Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y./w-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 5,002.
30, n-Jimmy Clark, Hermon, N.H./n-James Goulding, Lewiston, Maine, 4,989.
31, n-Joseph Ramsdell III, Skowhegan, Maine/n-Sarah Pelletier, Lewiston, Maine, 4,931.
32, n-Terrence Robinson, Gray, Maine/n-Charlie Mitchell, Portland, Maine, 4,360.
300 Games: Zeke Bayt, Marshall Kent, Tim Mack.